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Old 01-01-2013, 01:51 PM   #1
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Tiered Play Calling Revisited

Tiered Playcalling?

Need or NOT?

I am writing this after some reflection on tiered play calling. I like 2k’s system as a basic tiered way to call plays on defense. It is not the only way to call plays and probably can be superseded if we think about a new way of calling defense. I already had a thread on run/pass commit where we discussed a great deal of things; firstly, how unrealistic run/pass commit is with respect to principles of run defense. In that thread I then suggested that they make it more realistic by going with an if/then rather than an all or nothing. So if run then the defense executes the run fit. If pass they execute their coverage assignment. I still hold that to be needed in the game. But after reading through Mike McDaniel’s Pro 3-4: Winning Football with a Multipurpose Defense for the fourth time and looking at some other material, I’ve gotten clearer on how I think EA can expand defensive play calling and make it really dynamic.


I do believe in four levels with respect to defensive play calling. A football game should give us the ability to call a front, a line technique, coverage, and responsibilities within basic coverage. Given the structure of Madden NCAA all of these are not possible in the huddle and I wouldn’t want them to be any way. This is where I think EA has an opportunity to take defensive play calling to the next level in their game. They could keep the play calling the same. To give us the levels we would need things to change on the field. My suggestion would be to revamp defensive play-maker. I know some guys are not going to like it because it is going to take away some of the crazy things they like to call 1) to get pressure such as a mix of spies and contains; 2) One man pass rush/fag defense. The former, pressure, should not rely on glitching out the OL through a host of spies and contains. The latter, should be a play call anyways and not something that corresponds to every thing you call in the game. In addition to these two, contain should be an assignment anyway and I will get to that. So outside of giving a player a spy call, I really do not see the need for the current defensive play-maker.


What we need are assignments and line techniques. Before getting into the intricacies of what I am proposing I want to talk about options. Right now the game has a game plan play-calling mechanic that is optional. The user can select traditional or game plan play-calling. What I will be proposing should first be an option. Thus, the pick up and play player does not have to be bogged down by the new methodology. Their defense would not be as sound as someone who uses the mechanic. They are pick-up and play players so they might not care too much about that. So an additional category needs to be added on the options, namely ,

Defensive Play Calling – Traditional/Tiered

With this additional category on the options screen users can select how they want to call their defense. Again, I am advocating there that users who do use the new play-calling mechanic have a much better chance of having a more stout, exotic, and fundamentally sound defense than those who do not learn it. This would also provide a great deal of diversity in the online community as some guys may not want to learn it and thus some defenses will be a great deal stronger than others. With all of this in mind let’s discuss Tiered Defensive Play-Calling in Madden NFL 14.

For a look back at game flow see the following video:

The Ins and Outs of Tiered Defense

The new method I am advocating to get the four levels of play calling into the game combines the current method of calling plays, namely, the user calls a front such as 3-4 Predator:



Then one calls a coverage, such as Drop Zone:



Right now this is all the user is required to do. I’m advocating that this remain the same.

The additions all occur once the defense breaks the huddle. Three players are selected for the user as he/she calls assignments. First, out of the huddle the user is automatically placed on the Free Safety and an Open Support is called. Then the user is switched to the Strong Safety and a Closed Support is called. Finally the user is switched the Mike Linebacker with an option to change the front as well as call a line technique or to leave it as is.

Support Calls for Base Coverage

The first thing that needs to be mentioned with respect to support calls is the read and react nature of the call. This is about “if then” rather than an all out sell out. So, if it is run then the players a part of the support call execute the call. Otherwise they execute the coverage.

Cloud and Sky Coverage

The frame work for strong outside run defense in many cases is based around five elements. They include:

1) Primary Support/Force Player
2) Cutback
3) Secondary Support/Play Action Responsibility
4) Spill Player
5) Chase/Boot Action /Reverse

I have simplified these for the sake of a video game. I want to also mention that ratings still should matter even when a great call is made. Block Shedding ratings need to come into play along with a new discipline rating. Let me talk a little about the discipline rating and how I see it related to run defense. Elements two, three, and five can and should be impacted significantly by discipline. While a player may have a high block shed rating and strong at the point of attack, that does not mean he’s disciplined enough to carry out the assignment. Think Lavar Arrington.

Undisciplined players abandon cutback responsibility; they over pursue on the spill; and they chase too fast and too flat creating cut back lanes outside of them. Or they get too much depth in the chase leaving a gap underneath the chase for cutback opportunities. Or they just get too far up the field and allow the run to be executed underneath them. These type of mishaps need to be in the game. There is a reason some defenses excel at this over others and it’s because their players are more disciplined at these elements than others.

So let’s look at some basic coverages and talk about options that should be available for the user.

Cover 6



1) Primary Run Support
2)

Cover 3













Cover 2





Cover 4 Drop Zone


Last edited by LBzrule; 01-01-2013 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #2
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Re: Tiered Play Calling Revisited

As you can see I was going to work out Force/Spill ect for each coverage. It was tiring and I said why am I doing this for it to fall on deaf ears so I stopped writing.

That said, combine what is here with the traits Idea I discussed in Taz's thread with the edge setter trait you can have the right calls but still get ran on because of your personnel. The perfect mixture would be right call, excellent personnel to set the edge. ect.

I didn't even work through line games. This is just basic fundamental stuff that you would think a simulation football game would be trying to implement.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:39 PM   #3
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Re: Tiered Play Calling Revisited

I think this is exactly what Madden needs, especially being that we're well into "Next-Gen", the fact that this isn't in the game is ridiculous. I'm guessing for the if/then concept, say I come out in a Nickel 2-4-5 Cover 6, with the offense in a Twins I-Formation, and the corner to outside has no receiver to cover, but his zone responsibility, the if/then would be somewhere along the lines of If Run: Then Outside Contain. One question though LB is how would I go about applying that to the DB? Is it like hot routing or are you saying the game should already have that implemented?

Sometimes I hate calling run commit cause it seems like my playcall automatically switches into an Engage Eight and it's frustrating. The discipline rating is an absolutely phenomenal idea. There are plenty of times I've seen Demarcus Ware get too deep into the backfield and they run right at his zone.

And LMAO @ 1 Rusher/Fag Defense hahahah
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:04 PM   #4
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Re: Tiered Play Calling Revisited

This will take major AI improvements first. As is, it requires too many presnap adjustments to get what you want. If you add in mandatory calls from the FS, SS and MLB, you are slowing down the process quite a bit.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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Re: Tiered Play Calling Revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo6911
This will take major AI improvements first. As is, it requires too many presnap adjustments to get what you want. If you add in mandatory calls from the FS, SS and MLB, you are slowing down the process quite a bit.
I don't know why it would be too many if you get rid of the old way of doing things. I know people will b*tch and complain but why would we need any of that stuff if all of this new stuff is added?
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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Re: Tiered Play Calling Revisited

Quote:
The user can select traditional or game plan play-calling. What I will be proposing should first be an option. Thus, the pick up and play player does not have to be bogged down by the new methodology. Their defense would not be as sound as someone who uses the mechanic. They are pick-up and play players so they might not care too much about that...
Why not just have it so the more in depth stuff was called automatically by the AI, rather than just leaving it vanilla? I mean, they would have to code the AI to call it anyways, for the CPU controlled teams. So just make it so the simple play calling style had the AI working along with it, to "fill in the blanks" so to speak. It would sort of mimic a head coach and a coordinator: the user (head coach) would say I want a cover 3 here, and the AI (defensive coordinator) would take care of the line call.

[minirant]Game flow was a bad idea from the get go, just one of many Madden has been stuck with over the years that really has little to do with football. I remember when it came out it was marketed as a way to play games quicker, and it sort of left me scratching my head. Then recently they added a way to break out of play action early, more as a result of play action not working right in the first place, than it actually having anything to do with football. Bad ideas in an attempt to cover up poor design and poor implementation; that is the story of Madden football of late.[/minirant]

Last edited by RandyBass; 01-01-2013 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:12 PM   #7
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Re: Tiered Play Calling Revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by LBzrule
...It was tiring and I said why am I doing this for it to fall on deaf ears so I stopped writing...

...I didn't even work through line games. This is just basic fundamental stuff that you would think a simulation football game would be trying to implement.
It's not falling on deaf ears. I'm listening. Others are listening. The more this stuff is brought up and talked about, the better chance it has at being recognized.

It may be a bit unreasonable at this point to expect a football video game to capture all the intricacies you see on Sundays, but a push in that direction is a good place to start.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:18 PM   #8
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Re: Tiered Play Calling Revisited

You would be adding just another option for playcalling format. Sure it would be cool and realistic as hell, but programming yet another "option" for a console only game would take up a lot of resources. We have to keep in mind that this game isn't made for the highly intelligent football fanatic, it's created for your average Joe that just watches his hometown team every sunday and would be lucky if he knew what a slot receiver or "Mike" back is.

I think the options we have for playcalling is good enough to suffice all levels of Madden players equally.
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